What is The Morning Erection?
While most men do not love waking up with a stiff neck or back, very few men complain when they wake up with a different body part that is stiff. Commonly known as "morning wood," it is perfectly normal for men - including young men just reaching sexual maturity - to wake up with a rocking erection first thing in the morning. Learn more about this usually welcome phenomenon and what it means for penis health if it starts to go away.
Is morning wood normal?
Most men wake up to find they are "popping a tent" in their pants, a phenomenon that is a completely normal part of a man’s sexuality. In fact, it is a very good sign that indicates everything is working the way it should be. Most men have multiple erections throughout the night (3-5 or more), each of which can last for half an hour or longer. While most erections in the daytime arise from exposure to something stimulating - either visually, mentally, or physically - a night time erection does not necessarily mean a guy is dreaming about or imagining sex - though he very well could be.
What causes this early morning Erections?
There are a few things that may be to blame (or to thank) for a morning erection. A full bladder is one of them. When the bladder becomes overfull, as it tends to during the night, the urine makes its way up the urethra, which causes engorgement and an erection. Though this may help wake the man up to void his bladder, this may be easier said than done with a full-on hard-on. A strong morning boner is also associated with certain sleep cycles and is more likely to occur when a man is in active or REM sleep - which occurs several times a night, as well as just before waking in the morning - though men do have erections outside of REM sleep. Medications for erectile dysfunction are also commonly associated with morning wood and could be the culprit, though many men experience them without medication.
What happens when the morning wood stops?
For a man who has woken up every day since his teens with an erection, the absence of one may seem like a reason to worry. However, a missing stiffy does not necessarily indicate a serious problem. Studies have found that it is perfectly normal for both the quality and number of erections to gradually change over a man’s lifespan.
This shift is most likely associated with the natural decrease of testosterone that comes as a man ages. Obviously, a young man of 20 has a great deal more testosterone in his body than a man of 60 - so it stands to reason that his manhood may also be standing a little firmer and more frequently as well. However, if there is a sudden drop off or dramatic change in one’s erection quality, quantity, or duration - morning or otherwise - it is wise for a man to get checked out to ensure there is not a more serious problem going on, such as blood pressure issues or diabetes. A man’s penis health is an indication to how his body in general is doing, so it is always good to keep the doctor in the loop as changes progress - particularly if they are sudden.
Keeping strong erections
In some cases, there is little a man can do to bring back a waning wanger; it may just be a sad side effect of aging. After a medical exam, a doctor may recommend testosterone supplements or other treatments to restore his penis to its full glory. Though it may be embarrassing, a man needs to speak up if he feels something is wrong.